July 19, 2019 Subject:
Were you at Matrix or Fillmore West on 10/8/68?
This show is such a bridge in the band’s history – questions real or perceived about Bob and Pigpen, multiple LONG explorations that bring you into the simplicity of Phil, Mickey and Jerry, Jack coming in with some heavy bass. You’ll hear notes and ideas of things that get into the cannon years later. This same night, my parents were at Fillmore West for a Tuesday night audition / jam and remember that some of the Dead and Jefferson Airplane were playing. Initial Shock and Freedom Highway were on the bill as well. Would love to know if you were at the Fillmore West show – Tuesday, October 8, 1968. Was it Bob? Ralph Gleason (pg312) quoted Jerry as saying about Bob: “..and he’s a student, you might say. His musical leader was Jorma. He used to go every time Jorma played when he played in coffeehouses. Weir’d go there with his tape recorder, tape the whole show and talk to Jorma extensively and watch him play the stuff and study it all and go home and work it out. Jorma is where he learned a lot of his technique and learned a lot of his whole approach to guitar playing was like Jorma’s essentially. Except he’s not as good as Jorma, of course. But his background is that way and in that folk sort of light blues and a lot of full-voiced chords and finger style. That’s the big thing he’s been into.” Or was it Pigpen, or did super-competitive Bill Graham bring other members of the band over (like at Track 12 when Elvin Bishop takes over) to have them at Fillmore West since their next show was not his?...Dead next played at Avalon on October 10. Airplane was just back from Europe/NY and about to record live at Fillmore West beginning Oct 24, so it would’ve made sense they were warming up. My folks are getting old – please share anything you can. firstname.lastname@example.org
the setlist looks a lot more exciting than the music. Still, some moments abound.....that Seven thing probably comes off best...
August 17, 2018 Subject:
Weakest of the Matrix Shows
However, check out track 9 (9:21) a very mellow Dark Star like jam with Jack Casady. It starts off very meditative, giving you the feeling of floating through space.
It gets heavier with Jerry and the rhythm devils climbing in intensity. Then Jack leads with a beautiful bass. The ending is amazing. Because of this beautiful jam I'll give it 3 stars.
October 8, 2013 Subject:
but not that exiting, kinda sloppy. i like the whole band better.it is cool though that they had the opportunity to do this, and at a club. you wont hear any thing like this at a bar anymore.
October 8, 2013 Subject:
Mickey and the Hartbeats....or Heartbeats...whatever
I had this tape in my late teens...What a find it was then, and an equally amazing find now as well!
It included all the elvin bishop and cassady stuff with it.
Gotta love anything from this era, as it was cutting edge then.
great sound, must have been awesome to be there...
got introduced in 1975, but saw some very intimate performances. including an acoustic/electric solo performance of Jorma at what was then his club in berkeley...maybe 30 people in attendance, including Owsley, whom i sat at the bar with and enjoyed a drink...unknowingly....
great times in the bay area, as always!!
June 23, 2009 Subject:
First Cosmic Charlie -- Jack Casady jams with Jerry
This is not a Dead show -- the Dead were on a break. They had just finished an awesome tour (check out the August shows here, or Two From the Vault) and were now in town recording Aoxomoxoa and regrouping. It’s almost a power trio: just guitar, bass, and drums, except it sounds like both drummers. No Bobby or Pigpen or Tim Constanten. Here, they were trying out new material and just plain jamming and fooling around at the Matrix, a tiny space owned by Marty Balin –- it sounds like 20 people in the audience.
The most notable thing here is the first known performance of Cosmic Charlie, which went on Aoxomoxoa. Jerry doesn’t have all the words yet, and hasn’t figured out the ending.
The best performance is a 4-star Death Don’t have no Mercy – nice Jerry vocal. Dark Star is not very good, especially compared to the excellent versions they did in August/September. Jerry’s playing a lot of rhythm guitar in these songs, strumming chords.
In Track 5, Jerry says “this one’s largely Experimental so be warned.” This is call the Seven, but their really trying to figure out how to play in 7/4 time. This is really a rehearsal in front of a few people.
Phil leaves after track 7, and starting in Track 8 (a blues jam) the bass is Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, which is pretty nice. Beginning of Track 9 ( a 2-chord vamp) is definitely Casady’s style. Track 11 also sounds like Cassady. At the beginning of Track 12, Jerry announces that Casady has been playing. Jerry and the drummers and Casady leave.
Elvin Bishop and his band takes over on track 12, takes over for jerry on guitar, and it’s more blues. Track 12 is pretty good, 14 is kind of boring.
September 17, 2005 Subject:
This show is amazing. The Dead are many things; rock and roll, country, folk, blues, jazz. I love Bobby for his country flair and Pigpen for his soul and R&B but imo this is the essence of the band; experimental jazz fusion. The seven is spectacular. Miles Davis would have been proud. The whole run of Mickey and the Heartbeats on this site is worth the download. Check out 10/10/68, 10/30/68, and 12/16/68 as well.
April 7, 2005 Subject:
This of course is not the Grateful Dead, but Mickey Hart and the Hartbeats, also known as Jerry Garceeah and His Friends (which is what appeared on the poster). JerryPhilMickeyBilly were joined by Jack Casady (bass) and Elvin 'Pigboy' Bishop for some songs. (Some of the tracks sound like one drummer to my ears though.) The purpose of this was apparently to explore what they could do without Bobby and Pigpen, who they felt were holding them back. The experiment lasted a few months, and history is recorded here for you to decide if they were right about poor Pig and Bobby. For my money, they weren't, and indeed some of the best moments in the show come from Bishop's blues playing. See McNally p. 279.
First Cosmic Charlie.
October 26, 2004 Subject:
Unfocused? That's the point!
These Matrix shows were not "regular" Dead shows, but some more experimental jamming (sans Bobby and Pigpen, some jams have Jack Cassady and Elvin Bishop) Cool stuff - definitely different.
September 2, 2004 Subject:
Two different acts
This is clearly the Dead and another band. In the later jams toward the end of the list, the vocalist and guitar player are different.
Almost all of the Dead stuff is unfocused meandering. Historically interesting but it sounds like an off night.
June 25, 2004 Subject:
Great show, but not the best sound
It's a great & unusual set to be sure, but this recording is plagued by lots of static-like noise, especially in the first 45 minutes. It sounds like some enterprising individual could clean this up with the right software